Retail Sales Rise

Published 3:53 pm Tuesday, April 15, 2014

FARMVILLE — Following a slight downturn in 2012, retail sales in the Town of Farmville increased in 2013.

Total retail sales rose by 1.73 percent, or more by than $6 million, to their highest level in at least five years—$353,856,784.

Retail sales had dropped by .89 percent the previous year.

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Total dollar volume, meanwhile, increased by 3.81 percent, to $557,169,041, also its highest level in at least five years.

“I think that’s the interesting number to note,” Town Council finance committee member, David E. Whitus, pointed out during council’s April meeting last week, “given the fact the economy is still rather sluggish.”

Whitus was pleased at the gathering economic strength, locally, despite continued national lethargy.

“In 2012,” he said, “the total dollar volume was up four percent and in 2013 it’s almost up four percent again. It’s still well above that half a billion-dollar mark.”

The Town of Farmville’s total business license tax revenue was $1.3 million, an increase of 2.12 percent.

By categories, grocery store sales declined from $60.8 million to $56.3 million during a year that saw Kroger close its Farmville location last spring.

Restaurants felt a decline from $39.9 million to $38.9 million, essentially to its 2011 level, but still higher than 2009 and 2010.

Retail automotive sales, which includes car sales and service stations, dipped from $73.6 million to $72.3 million, but the figure was nevertheless higher than the three prior years, more than $14 million above their 2009 level.

The category of “other retail sales” (everything other than food and automotive) rose by nearly $13 million, from $173.3 million to $186.1 million, also the highest level in at least five years.

Contractors saw their business rise from $49.1 million to $58.9 million from 2012 to last year.

Wholesale merchants experienced a decline from $29.3 million to $27.7 million and professionals, such as doctors, attorneys, and dentists, also went through a slight dip from $31 million to $30.3 million, while hotels and motel basically maintained their 2012 level—$4.4 million in 2012 and $4.3 million last year.